Silver friendship: 5 tips to help your loved one make friends in aged care

If your loved one is moving into an aged care home, how can they get to know the other residents and make some new friends? 

Whilst it’s really important for friends and family to visit their loved ones at their new care home, you can’t be there all the time. 
This is why it’s really important that your loved one makes friends in their new home. Making friends and getting involved can help them feel more settled and can also help them feel less lonely when you’re not there. 

Here are 5 tips to help your loved one make friends in their new home:

1.  Get involved in activities 

Most aged care homes organise different activities such as: gardening, cooking, dancing, bingo and singing. 

Encourage your loved one to join in and participate in some of the different activities. They will be able to meet other residents with similar interests and have fun at the same time.

Bupa Tamworth resident, Charlie, tells us, “I like to play cards, bingo and hoy, and I like to help others who don’t find it easy to play.”

2.  Try something new

Encourage your loved one to try a hobby or activity that they haven’t tried before or haven’t done in a while. Not only can this enlighten a new passion but it’s also a good way to meet different people.  

3.  Be proactive and set up your own activities and     clubs

If there is an activity that your loved one really enjoys and the home doesn’t offer it, encourage them to speak to the lifestyle team who can look into organising it.

At Bupa Tamworth, a small group who call themselves the ‘Bupa Bandits’ have created a tight-knit friendship, and meet regularly to hang out and also suggest different activities that the home could offer for the residents. 

“I am president of the Bupa Bandits and look forward to our outings very much,” says resident Charlie.
Older woman laughing

4.  Make the first move

It can be daunting to go up to people you don’t know and strike up a conversation but sometimes it’s a good way to meet people. 

Why not encourage your loved one to sit with other people at meal times or to sit beside another resident if they’re watching TV.

It can also be helpful if you try and strike up a conversation with residents when you’re visiting and then draw your loved one in to the conversation.  

5.  Remember it takes time

Making new friends takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. So encourage your loved one to keep trying and to go to different activities. The more they put themselves out there, the more chances they will have to meet people.  

Bupa Aged Care

Bupa Aged Care Services. Bupa Aged Care, offers a full range of care including respite, residential and specialised dementia care.

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